Title: Circling Back
Author Name & Publisher: Amanda Young
Publication Date & Length: August 2015 – 165 pgs
Stella fled home at seventeen with a broken heart, an unplanned pregnancy, and a vow never to look back. Twenty years later, she has a career she enjoys and a solid relationship with the child she placed for open adoption. When that child goes in search of her birth father and calls for assistance, Stella is forced to return to her hometown and face the men who broke her heart, one of whom fathered her child.
Gavin and Holden raised a lot of hell as teenagers. They broke the law, broke their mother’s hearts, and almost broke each other before they finally got their act together. Through all the ups and downs, they stuck by each other and managed to build a happy life together. The one thing they couldn’t do was forget the woman they’d loved and lost.
Forced to face the past and each other after so many years is no small feat. The trio does their best to make amends and put the past behind them while forging new bonds. Old feelings are rekindled and new emotions emerge from the ashes of their youthful indiscretions. Something remarkable could be on the horizon if they’re strong enough to navigate the pitfalls of a triad relationship and stand strong against the outside forces conspiring to bring them to their knees.
She glanced at Gavin and found his gaze headed south of her lower back. “See something you like?”
“I see something I love.” Gavin moved in close behind her and ran the outside of his thumb down her bare arm. “I love every inch of your beautiful body, from your beautiful, long hair all the way to your cute little toes.”
Stella basked in Gavin’s admiration. “That’s good to know.”
“You could make yourself more comfortable and let me express my regards for your many, many charms.” Gavin nuzzled the curve of her throat and pressed his warm lips against the sensitive skin beneath her ear.
The sensual touch sent a shiver down Stella’s spine and made her nipples tighten in anticipation of taking Gavin up on his offer. “I really wish you could.”
“We can.” Gavin pulled her ear lobe into his mouth, nibbled, and released it.
“We really can’t. Holden and Mae will both here soon.”
Gavin slid an arm around her waist and pulled her back tight against him. “We could be quick.”
Stella could feel the long, stiff length of him pressed against her bottom. She closed her eyes and prayed for the strength to resist. “You’ll just have to be patient and wait until tonight.”
Gavin groaned. “You’re so mean to me.”
Stella couldn’t help but laugh. She turned and wrapped her arms around Gavin’s neck. “You pitiful, pitiful man. Would a kiss make you feel better?”
“That might tide me over until later as long as it’s a good one.”
“I think I can meet your needs.” Stella brushed her fingers through the soft hair at Gavin’s nape and pulled him down to meet her as she lifted up and glided her lips over his. She kept the caresses soft for the first few passes and then pressed up a little harder and licked across Gavin’s lower lip. The tip of Gavin’s tongue met her own and flicked back and forth, taunting her into giving chase and deepening the kiss. Gavin’s mouth tasted sweet and minty, like he’d ate a piece of candy right before she’d arrived.
Something banged in another room and then Holden’s voice called out. “Honey, I’m home.”
Gavin retreated and opened his eyes. He smiled at Stella. “Looks like we’ll have to pick this up later.”
Stella blinked up at Gavin. “Yeah. Later.” Definitely later. She could hardly wait. All she’d had was a little taste of what being with them was like. She couldn’t wait to discover what else they had in store for her.
With that thought in mind, she trailed back down the hall behind Gavin. He rounded the corner ahead of her and she heard his breath catch a second before her gaze landed on Holden and the spectacular bruise blossoming across his right cheekbone.
“Jesus fuck,” Gavin exclaimed. “What happened to your face?”
“Are you okay?” Stella asked, walking forward. “Did someone hit you?”
“Tell us what happened.” Gavin cupped Holden’s jaw in both hands.
“I got to meet Joanna’s ex. It was a real pleasure, let me tell you.”
“And he punched you?” Gavin asked.
It took Stella a moment to place the name as the guy’s old shop steward. “Why would her ex assault you?”
Holden shook his head. “He thinks I’m hiding Joanna from him or some shit.”
Gavin pushed Holden’s chin up and to the side, inspecting him. “Is this the worst of it or is there more hiding under your clothes?”
Holden caught Gavin’s hands and held them trapped within his own. “I’m fine. He caught me by surprise when I was leaving, shoved me into the building, and got off one sucker punch. Believe me, he looks worse than I do.”
“That’s better than nothing, I guess.” Gavin looked down at their clasped hands.
“Your knuckles are a mess. Go wash up and I’ll come in and put some antiseptic on them.”
“Yes, Mom.” Holden brought Gavin’s hands up to his mouth, kissed, and released them. He stopped next to Stella and smiled at her. “Hey, pretty lady. I’m glad you’re here. Just let me scrub off the day and I’ll greet you properly.”
“Go look after yourself. I’ll be here when you’re finished.” Stella patted him on the butt.
“Hey now,” Holden said. “No getting fresh until I can do something about it.”
Stella grinned at him. “Don’t worry. There’s a lot more where that came from.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Holden said over his shoulder as he walked out of the room.